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Gold medal for migrant learn-to-swim participants

Forty-five migrants have tested the waters and gained newfound confidence in and around the pool and ocean after completing Sunshine Coast Council’s popular Migrant Learn to Swim and Beach Safe program.

The seven-week program has just wrapped up for its fourth year (December 11) and was run by council and Royal Life Saving Society of Queensland at Goodlife Community Centre, Buderim, and Nambour Aquatic Centre, plus Bulcock Beach.

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said he was pleased to see the program go from strength to strength.

“Migrant Learn to Swim and Beach Safe is a very important program to our community as it develops and builds on swimming skills and familiarity in and around the pool and beach,” Cr Law said.

“Importantly, it also fosters a connection between participants who can meet life-long friends.” 

Mountain Creek resident Zhongmin Neilson (Shin) is proof that age is no barrier to learning new things.

The 65-year-old Chinese migrant said she was glad she completed the Migrant Learn to Swim and Beach Safe program this year.

“Age cannot stop me doing anything. Can you believe I’ve lived on the Sunshine Coast for 13 years but am only learning to swim now?” Shin said.

“I really liked the program. The instructors were very helpful and so lovely. They taught me things like movement and floating, they did a good job.

“I am more confident, but I would like to keep up my practise, it’s like any sport, as you have to keep at it to be good at it.”

Royal Life Saving Society of Queensland Executive Director Paul Barry said he was pleased to once again see 45 Sunshine Coast migrants take up the program.

“The program is specifically targeted for people with very little swimming skills or confidence in water,” Mr Barry said.

“We’re proud to combine both the pool and beach safety lesson components, to equip migrants with water safety and survival skills.

“Summer is now here, so it’s very important for our community and migrants to feel confident at the swimming pool and beach and remember to always see a lifeguard if they have any questions, and to swim between the flags.”

For more information visit https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Living-and-Community/Community-Support/Multicultural-Welcome-Hub/Health-and-Wellbeing-Services/Migrant-Learn-to-Swim 

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